2016

Top 100 Best Places to Live


Our third annual ranking of the best small to mid-sized cities in the U.S.

We ranked more than 2,000 cities with populations between 20,000 and 350,000 to come up with our third annual Top 100 Best Places to Live. This is a data-driven list based on more than 40 data points. This year we are proud to have collaborated with world-renowned urbanist Richard Florida and assistant clinical professor Steven Pedigo from the Initiative for Creativity and Innovation in Cities at NYU School of Professional Studies, our new data partners EMSI and our stellar board of advisors in shaping our proprietary methodology and the framework by which we rank the cities. See if your town made this year's list (or the 2015 and 2014 rankings). Get ready to plot your next move, and make one of these best places your best place.

600 = The city’s overall score, based on the weighted sum of the eight component scores.
City
State
#1 Rochester
Minnesota
674 55 80 84 75 60 71 54 59
#2 Bellevue
Washington
670 53 68 58 79 66 78 72 61
#3 Madison
Wisconsin
651 66 88 60 64 72 68 37 66
#4 Santa Barbara
California
651 52 75 66 60 71 71 61 64
#5 Boulder
Colorado
649 56 68 68 69 87 68 32 70
#6 Palo Alto
California
646 47 63 45 88 72 61 72 65
#7 Bismarck
North Dakota
645 65 68 74 67 51 69 60 61
#8 Ann Arbor
Michigan
643 49 72 57 62 94 70 35 74
#9 Iowa City
Iowa
642 59 83 67 60 82 62 37 60
#10 Sioux Falls
South Dakota
640 68 72 77 56 56 70 54 58
#11 Walnut Creek
California
639 47 68 60 84 67 67 67 51
#12 San Mateo
California
638 59 62 58 72 59 59 78 63
#13 Fort Collins
Colorado
638 54 61 68 66 84 73 36 63
#14 Overland Park
Kansas
636 55 74 53 87 72 65 56 45
#15 Fargo
North Dakota
636 64 71 73 61 62 71 40 66
#16 Rapid City
South Dakota
635 60 72 78 55 57 67 63 56
#17 Rockville
Maryland
631 54 61 56 82 68 56 73 53
#18 Ashland
Oregon
631 50 74 58 76 77 52 41 74
#19 Santa Cruz
California
631 52 76 72 61 82 63 35 62
#20 Olympia
Washington
630 42 66 69 67 63 80 49 67
#21 Charlottesville
Virginia
630 47 70 64 57 76 73 39 76
#22 Edina
Minnesota
629 52 63 58 91 69 58 57 54
#23 Longmont
Colorado
629 64 71 70 58 58 64 63 55
#24 Littleton
Colorado
627 54 50 67 76 64 72 66 52
#25 Kirkland
Washington
627 61 64 64 77 56 67 51 60
#26 Lakewood
Colorado
626 56 70 64 63 66 64 64 54
#27 Boise
Idaho
624 56 68 64 68 72 57 52 60
#28 Grand Forks
North Dakota
621 59 65 71 67 69 65 35 66
#29 San Luis Obispo
California
620 46 81 73 58 81 62 31 60
#30 Davis
California
620 54 78 62 70 78 57 36 58
#31 Sarasota
Florida
619 39 74 52 40 65 83 69 71
#32 Missoula
Montana
619 53 81 71 60 69 68 26 66
#33 Ventura
California
619 59 65 66 61 68 64 61 51
#34 Bozeman
Montana
618 51 75 52 69 88 64 33 60
#35 Ames
Iowa
618 62 72 66 58 90 61 24 59
#36 Chapel Hill
North Carolina
617 44 68 63 65 81 65 42 64
#37 Honolulu
Hawaii
617 58 69 54 36 61 83 74 59
#38 Corvallis
Oregon
617 50 80 67 65 77 59 25 69
#39 Billings
Montana
615 54 67 81 53 58 66 57 54
#40 Scottsdale
Arizona
614 51 60 49 79 74 69 64 44
#41 Loveland
Colorado
614 65 68 64 62 55 63 62 52
#42 Newton
Massachusetts
612 55 60 45 96 68 53 51 60
#43 Manhattan
Kansas
611 58 73 75 45 79 64 40 55
#44 Lafayette
Colorado
610 54 67 65 71 58 62 56 53
#45 Menlo Park
California
609 54 62 43 92 57 49 62 66
#46 Columbia
Missouri
609 57 77 67 51 68 73 39 53
#47 Reno
Nevada
608 42 67 65 39 76 65 66 64
#48 Lincoln
Nebraska
608 61 69 76 53 57 67 43 61
#49 Arlington
Virginia
607 41 62 60 81 65 60 52 62
#50 Irvine
California
607 39 69 37 81 86 57 60 53
#51 Downers Grove
Illinois
606 58 62 60 89 70 52 40 53
#52 Aberdeen
South Dakota
605 67 74 78 58 51 50 58 48
#53 Bend
Oregon
604 49 69 52 61 70 61 60 59
#54 Pleasanton
California
604 51 63 50 89 75 49 57 45
#55 Salt Lake City
Utah
603 54 66 67 46 61 64 51 74
#56 Alexandria
Virginia
600 39 59 62 81 55 70 55 58
#57 White Plains
New York
600 47 67 51 71 58 51 65 68
#58 Monterey
California
599 49 64 69 69 48 63 58 59
#59 Boca Raton
Florida
598 37 50 40 78 71 79 62 58
#60 Dickinson
North Dakota
598 78 49 64 71 33 64 60 60
#61 Helena
Montana
597 56 60 69 81 48 59 46 59
#62 Watertown
South Dakota
597 63 64 77 55 57 58 48 56
#63 Santa Rosa
California
597 48 79 55 51 62 64 65 53
#64 Richland
Washington
596 45 46 62 83 63 60 64 53
#65 Petaluma
California
595 47 65 67 75 56 61 55 48
#66 Renton
Washington
595 71 67 61 39 65 58 67 48
#67 San Rafael
California
594 43 76 59 63 41 66 70 56
#68 Napa
California
594 54 67 68 47 55 62 69 55
#69 Asheville
North Carolina
594 44 69 56 55 67 57 68 57
#70 Camarillo
California
594 44 56 64 84 60 60 63 43
#71 Murray
Utah
594 65 65 66 52 58 52 53 64
#72 Bellingham
Washington
593 51 72 65 49 74 70 23 67
#73 Novato
California
593 49 73 62 83 44 60 61 42
#74 Portland
Maine
593 53 84 52 61 62 57 30 72
#75 Casper
Wyoming
593 72 51 81 54 45 62 60 50
#76 Bloomington
Indiana
592 53 71 64 46 73 72 20 72
#77 Mountain View
California
592 50 68 49 83 46 46 61 68
#78 Lawrence
Kansas
591 50 73 68 54 73 70 31 52
#79 Miami Beach
Florida
589 54 58 47 50 60 80 53 69
#80 Bothell
Washington
589 63 40 54 71 66 64 63 52
#81 Lexington
Kentucky
589 45 62 60 54 71 74 49 54
#82 Bountiful
Utah
589 45 48 75 81 71 43 52 54
#83 Redwood City
California
588 56 70 54 58 49 53 67 63
#84 Fremont
California
588 46 64 54 70 73 50 65 48
#85 Berkeley
California
588 53 62 53 55 80 60 48 59
#86 Plano
Texas
587 51 62 37 81 66 67 62 43
#87 Goleta
California
587 59 39 66 79 54 64 56 55
#88 Cedar Rapids
Iowa
586 60 64 74 62 54 65 44 46
#89 Brookings
South Dakota
586 65 66 64 53 76 58 29 58
#90 Midland
Michigan
585 51 58 79 82 57 55 37 49
#91 Pullman
Washington
585 54 68 45 59 79 59 38 64
#92 Fredericksburg
Virginia
584 34 63 62 49 67 65 56 71
#93 Greenville
South Carolina
584 46 63 64 57 54 69 58 56
#94 Eugene
Oregon
583 42 69 60 54 73 71 30 66
#95 Issaquah
Washington
583 55 61 54 75 53 56 60 52
#96 Stillwater
Oklahoma
583 57 63 47 50 86 71 36 57
#97 Santa Clara
California
583 48 70 57 57 59 53 63 59
#98 Stamford
Connecticut
583 33 59 64 65 46 63 66 69
#99 Cambridge
Massachusetts
583 59 71 37 72 61 59 39 65
#100 Bethesda
Maryland
583 38 60 50 83 58 57 61 56
Livability.com's ranking of the Best Places to Live includes cities and towns with populations between 20,000 to 350,000. Ties are broken by unrounded numbers. Please see the full methodology for data sources and details.
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